Migration is the preferred method of replacing an existing server with one running Windows Server 2012 R2. Unlike an in-place upgrade, a migration copies vital information from an existing server to a clean Windows Server 2012 R2 installation.
When migrating, nearly all the restrictions listed earlier in regard to upgrades do not apply. By using the Windows Server Migration Tools and migration guides supplied with Windows Server 2012 R2, you can migrate data between servers under any of the following conditions:

Between versions You can migrate data from any Windows Server version from Windows Server 2003 SP2 to Windows Server 2012 R2. This includes migrations from one server running Windows Server 2012 R2 to another.
Between platforms You can migrate data from a 32-bit or 64-bit server to a 64-bit server running Windows Server 2012 R2.
Between editions You can migrate data between servers running different Windows Server editions.
Between physical and virtual instances You can migrate data from a physical server to a virtual one, or the reverse.
Between installation options You can migrate data from one server to another, even when one server is using the Server Core installation option and the other is using the Server with a GUI option.

Migration at the server level is different from any migrations you might have performed on workstation operating systems. Instead of performing a single migration procedure that copies all the user data from the source to the destination computer at once, in a server migration you migrate roles or role services individually.

Windows Server 2012 R2 includes a collection of migration guides that provide individualized instructions for each of the roles supported by Windows Server 2012 R2. Some of the roles require the use of Windows Server Migration Tools; others do not.

Installing Windows Server Migration Tools

Windows Server Migration Tools is a Windows Server 2012 R2 feature that consists of Windows PowerShell cmdlets and help files that enable administrators to migrate certain roles between servers.
Before you can use the migration tools, however, you must install the Windows Server Migration Tools feature on the destination server running Windows Server 2012 R2 and then copy the appropriate version of the tools to the source server.
Windows Server Migration Tools is a standard feature that you install on Windows Server 2012 R2 by using the Add Roles And Features Wizard in Server Manager, as shown in Figure 1-3, or the Install-WindowsFeature Windows PowerShell cmdlet.

Migrating roles

FIGURE 1-3 The Select Features page of the Add Roles And Features Wizard

Using migration guides
Once you have installed the Windows Server Migration Tools on both the source server and the destination server, you can proceed to migrate data between the two.
By using the migration tools, administrators can migrate certain roles, features, shares,operating system settings, and other data from the source server to the destination server running Windows Server 2012 R2. Some roles require the use of the migration tools, whereas others that have their own internal communication capabilities do not.

There is no single procedure for migrating all the Windows Server roles, whether they have their own migration tools or not. Instead, Microsoft provides detailed migration guides for individual roles; in some instances, Microsoft provides detailed migration guides for individual role services within a role.

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70-410 Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 Prep course includes following practice tests:

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